A man who allegedly pulled a pellet gun after being caught shoplifting Thursday at the north Medford Walmart on Highway 62 was captured by police before he had time to leave the parking lot, Medford police say.
Aaron Michael Brown, 32, was arrested just before noon Thursday following a short standoff in the 3600 block of Crater Lake Highway near the McDonald’s restaurant, according to a press release issued by Medford police.
Police responded to a 911 call from employees at Walmart saying a male had entered the store and stolen items and then threatened employees with a handgun.
Two plainclothes detectives happened to be in the area and spotted Brown walking through the Walmart parking lot, still holding the gun in his hand, the release said.
The officers confronted Brown, who refused to drop the pistol at first, but eventually placed it at his feet. He then refused to step away from the gun and remained verbally uncooperative with officers as they attempted to persuade him to step away, police said.
“Due to the heavy foot and vehicle traffic in the area, the officers on scene deployed a distraction device and simultaneously deployed a less lethal sponged-tipped munition designed to be a nonlethal, pain compliance munition,” police said. “These had the desired effect and officers were able to close the distance with the suspect and keep him from his firearm.”
Brown was taken into custody and medical personnel attended to his apparently minor injuries. The weapon was determined to be a realistic-looking pellet pistol.
During the incident, the Walmart parking lot was temporarily closed and traffic was diverted. The parking lot was opened a short time later.
Jackson County Circuit Court records show that Brown has multiple prior felony convictions, and recently served an 18-month prison sentence for vehicle theft and possessing methamphetamine.